A rapid pace of delivery was just one challenge for constructing a new medical distribution center in Prattville, Alabama. The other? Ensuring a consistent mix design for strict floor specifications.
Ground was broken for the 350,000 square foot Medline distribution center, located along Autauga County Road 4, in June 2010.
Hodgson Concrete General Manager Bill Hodgson says once the Medline project actually kicked off, it moved at a rapid pace. "It was a large warehouse with tilt up walls," says Hodgson. "The contractor came in on an accelerated schedule and we had really large floor placements that involved up to a 1000 yards a day of ready mix delivered at well over a 100 yards an hour."
Flat Floors Critical
One key feature of the distribution center is extremely flat floors. This ensures the facility's material handling system can move efficiently throughout the center. Achieving this critical component of the warehouse required specialized placement contractors. "They had a very talented contractor handling that phase," says Hodgson. "They were very specific on the mix design that they needed in order for them to be able to create a flat floor for the owner."
Hodgson says to meet the tight specs, they purchased the best raw materials possible. He says once the mix design was set, the challenge then turned to delivery. "Once we dialed in the mix design then it was all about getting the concrete to the job site in a consistent manner, slump and rate so that the placement contractor could have the best chance to produce a flat floor."
Hodgson says with the required rapid pace of delivery, it was all hands on deck. "Once you start a placement like that the difficulty is continuing with no interruptions in the quality, consistency and rate of delivery," he notes.
Central Mix Advantage
Hodgson's main plant located in Montgomery features a central mixer. This equipment gives them several advantages over competitors. "We mix the concrete in a drum before we ever really put it in the concrete mixer. We’re able to view every load as it comes out of that central mixer and there’s equipment on that plant that helps us keep the concrete consistent. We have automatic moisture compensation devices for however much moisture is in the fine aggregates. That's pretty tricky in concrete."
Experience also places a role. "With a central mixer we get a good look at that load of concrete before you actually put it on a truck and send it to a customer. There’s a slump meter that’s attached to the motors and with experience, you can keep the slump of the concrete, which is a measure of consistency, dead-on batch after batch after batch."
Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies. Headquartered in Mundelein, IL, Medline has sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.
- Location: Prattville, AL
- Producer: Hodgson
- Published: 09-28-17